The NFL’s TV-ratings rebound did not extend to Sunday’s Super Bowl. According to numerous outlets, the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams drew a 44.9 overnight rating, the lowest initial rating since the 2009 Super Bowl between the Steelers and Cardinals drew a 42.1 percent and a 5.2 percent drop from last year’s game between the Patriots and Eagles.
That Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl also was the last game not to draw at least 100 million overall television viewers, and Sunday’s game could dip below that mark as well. Last year’s game was watched by 103.4 million viewers, according to the final TV ratings.
With young stars propelling teams to new heights on offense, overall NFL TV ratings rose 5 percent during the regular season, and the AFC championship game between the Patriots and Chiefs on Jan. 20 rose 26 percent compared with the playoff game in the same time slot the year before. But the Super Bowl, a low-scoring, punt-filled game won, 13-3, by New England, did not do as well when compared with recent years.
Ratings obviously were strong in Boston, which drew a 57.4 overnight rating (best for the Super Bowl since 2015), and Los Angeles (44.6, best in that market since 1996). But the Super Bowl’s overall ratings this year may have gotten dragged down by places such as New Orleans, home of a Saints team that many feel was robbed of a chance to play the Patriots because of a missed call in the NFC championship game. According to Mike Scott of Nola.com, the Super Bowl drew a 26.2 overnight rating in that market, a massive decline from the 53 rating the game drew last year in the Big Easy.
Instead of watching the Super Bowl, thousands of New Orleans residents turned out for a combination demonstration/celebration.